Mitchell International showed off its connections to big-name tech companies this week in announcing the launch of two insurtech products: One is an augmented reality “smart glasses” tool for auto collision repairs developed in conjunction with Qualcomm Technologies; the other is an auto-damage claims estimator that uses artificial intelligence provided by Google Cloud.
Mitchell said in a press release that Chief Executive Officer Alex Sun will showcase its smart glasses product today during a customer-appreciation event in Boca Raton, Florida. Hugo Swart, Alex Sun head of extended and augmented reality technology for Qualcomm, will also be on hand during the demonstration. Both companies are based in San Diego.
Mitchell said the smart glasses product uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform to give collision repair technicians voice activated, hands-free access to up-to-date vehicle-repair procedures. They can collaborate with other experts and streamline functions such as check-in and check-out processes, the company said.
“We are actively testing our XR solution with several repair facilities in North America, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” stated Olivier Baudoux, a senior vice president of global product development for auto physical damage at Mitchell.
Swart said in the press release that Mitchell is an inaugural member of its XR Enterprise Program, which seeks to build commercial applications for extended reality technology. Qualcomm announced partnerships with Mitchell and several other companies that are developing wearable devices on Sept. 17.
Mitchell separately announced its Intelligent Estimating solution, which is designed to pre-populate estimates wherever possible. The product provides detailed auto physical damage estimates — including parts, operations and labor details — based on photos of vehicle damage.
Mitchell said its Vehicle Damage Detection application-program interface can accept photos from a variety of sources, whether that be a staff appraiser or a policyholder. Those photos are processed through an analytics program that uses the artificial intelligence capabilities of the Google Cloud Platform. Mitchell said the product will be available for implementation by carriers in early 2020.
Sun, the Mitchell CEO, said in an article on insurance technology last week that automated adjusting is the “holy grail” of claims management. He said artificial intelligence improves insurance adjuster decision making.
“The process works by using millions of damaged vehicle photos. Algorithms are trained to recognize vehicle damage and use computer vision, an AI tool, to double-check repair vs. replace decisions. This will help carriers achieve better estimate consistency, maintain estimate quality and be more selective about sending appraisers into the field, all while improving cycle times and productivity.”
USAA announced last week that it had developed its own version of a claims automation system using Mitchell’s technology combined with artificial intelligence capability of Google Cloud. The carrier said images are analyzed by Google Cloud to make damaged part predictions. Those predictions are sent to Mitchell for processing through the Intelligent Estimating program. The platform determines what real parts are necessary and incorporates them directly into an actual estimate.
Mitchell’s smart glasses product and its partnership with Google and USAA were noted in a blog post posted Friday by Mark Breading, a partner with insurance technology consulting firm Stategy Meets Action. He said it was one of only a few promising innovations announced during last week’s InsureTech Connect conference in Las Vegas.
“As far as I know, this is the first instance of Google actually developing or co-developing a purpose-built insurance solution,” Breading wrote. “Sure, they tried Google Compare and have invested in Applied Systems. But this is a case of Google leveraging their deep machine learning capabilities to provide a capability specific to insurance.”
He also called Mitchell and Qualcomm’s smart glasses “a very cool solution from two established incumbent tech companies, demonstrating that there is substantial innovation coming from these corners (in addition to the startups).”